Springlike weather made its debut this week, cloaked in the emerald green of a rain-rich landscape with daffodils, tulips and mustard blooms as fashion accessories.
Adding to the sensation of spring will be the arrival of daylight saving time early Sunday, bringing sunlight back into the evenings and coinciding with the warmest temperatures of the week.
The weather change started Wednesday with a high temperature in Santa Rosa of 71 degrees, launching what will be a weeklong stretch of balmy weather, according to Rick Canepa, forecaster with the National Weather Service. The last time the North Bay had temperatures this high was Nov. 14, when the thermometer at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport reached a high of 73 degrees.
February came close on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, when the mercury rose to 69 degrees, but January only peaked at 64 and December at 66 degrees. And while warm, they were likely wet.
The stretch of dry, 70-plus-degree weather is expected to continue in the North Bay well into next week as a high-pressure ridge settles in over the eastern Pacific, keeping any wet weather well to the north of us. The early spring is a respite from a winter that has brought near-record rainfall to the North Bay, with 52.71 inches falling in Santa Rosa since Oct. 1, and record-breaking rainfall for the state.
From Oct. 1 to Feb. 1, California averaged 27.81 inches of rainfall, according to data released Wednesday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Prior to this year, the most rain that fell in California during that five-month period was 27.34 inches of rain, which fell from 1968 to 1969.
Wednesday’s high at the Santa Rosa airport was another indicator of the North Bay’s unusual weather year. The average normal temperature for March 8 is a full eight degrees cooler, based on high temperature readings from 1981 to 2010. The above-normal trend will continue until about March 18, said Canepa.
“It’s really a sign of spring, to be sure,” he said.
After Monday, high temperatures will dip into the high 60s, Canepa said, still warmer than normal, with overnight lows dropping into the mid-to-high 40s — also above normal for this time of year. High temperatures in the North Bay aren’t usually expected to get into the 70s until the end of April; the same applies for the overnight lows.